Nurse Delivers Baby On Flight To Dallas

If there’s one thing that’s true across all pregnancies, it’s that when the baby decides that he or she is ready to arrive, there’s very little that can convince them to wait… even if their mother happens to be on an airplane at the time. Such was the case of a mother from Phoenix, who began labor during a flight to Dallas just a week ago.

The situation could have ended in many ways-many of them tragic-but thankfully for the mother and new baby, a nurse was on-board, and she didn’t hesitate to get involved.

Nurse Rhondula Green of Carrolton quickly answered the call for help after the mother went into labor mid-flight, and not a moment too soon.

“He just popped out – literally. So we just kind of like caught him,” described Green. “I was kind of nervous initially, but when I saw the baby come in the nerves were gone!”

The moment (witnessed by the mother’s two older children, seated beside her for the entire birth) was captured on video by another passenger, Shelley Starks, and can be seen here.

“It’s amazing they were able to accomplish that on the plane without being prepared at all,” said Starks. “She [the mother] had on a black shirt that had two baby hand prints on it with a red heart that said let me out of here.”

The flight diverted to New Orleans, where the new mother and her newborn were able to recover, and Nurse Green continued on to Dallas where she’s undoubtedly gone on to help others. But if you ever find yourself in a situation similar to Nurse Green’s, the website has a few things to remember.

  1. Call 911 – Or in a situation like the one above, see if you can establish contact with medical help on the ground. Of course, sometimes this won’t be available, which is where your medical training comes into play.
  2. Stay Calm – Both you and the soon-to-be mother need to breathe. Anxiety and panic won’t do either of you any favors.
  3. Ask for Blankets – If blankets aren’t available, get towels, sheets, clean shirts, anything you can use to wipe the blood off a new baby or wrap around both mother and child to keep them warm after the delivery.
  4. Push! – Let the mother lie down, and let her body tell you when it’s time to push. When it does, guide the head, check for the cord, and just let the baby come.
  5. Leave the Cord Alone – In the movies, they always cut the cord, but this is a bad idea after an emergency birth. Leave the cord alone until doctors can clamp and cut with sterilized equipment.
  6. Remember Your ABC’s – Dr. Marjorie Greenfield (author of The Working Woman’s Pregnancy Book) stresses the importance of checking the ABC’s-airway, breathing, and circulation. Feel for breath near the baby’s nose, and check for a pulse by putting a hand on his or her chest. Not getting anything? Don’t panic. Try “rubbing the baby’s back or flicking their feet… These will often get a newborn crying,” says Dr. Greenfield.

Of course, the best thing for both mother and child is to get them to a hospital in time, but in some cases (such as Nurse Green’s infamous flight to Dallas), sometimes the baby refuses to wait. So pay close attention in your classes, future nurses, and keep your training sharp, because you never know when you might be the next person who gets tapped on the shoulder and asked “excuse me, but are you a nurse?”

If you’d like more information on beginning a career as a nurse or medical assistant, Unitek College can help you start your career on the right foot. Contact us here for more information.

22-Year Old Nurse Saves Life On Plane

News stories that take place on airplanes have been overwhelmingly negative the past couple of months, from people being dragged off flights, to men fighting in the aisles. But this is a story that is far from negative, and one of the main reasons is because it involves a nurse.

According to a recent story in USA Today, Nurse Courtney Donlon was mid-flight from Texas to New Jersey (following a vacation in Vegas) when she woke up to the sounds of flight attendants asking for medical help. A 57-year old woman in another section of the plane had begun showing signs of medical distress, including symptoms of a heart attack.

“I stood up and went over to the flight attendant. As soon as I identified myself as a nurse, they let me start assessing the woman in distress,” Nurse Donlon recounts. “I introduced myself – told her I was Courtney and I worked at Robert Wood Johnson and what kind of floor I worked on so she would start to trust me a little bit. I told her she was in good hands. From there, I assessed her pain.”

While Courtney (22) only earned her nursing license recently, she reacted like a seasoned professional, quickly gathering information on her patient and gathering any and all medical supplies the flight attendants could find. There wasn’t much to work with… the plane’s defibrillator, a blood pressure cuff, a small tank of oxygen, and a bottle of Aspirin. But it was enough for Courtney to do what she needed to do.

“I think even with the adrenaline going through me, I have seen this and heard about this my whole life,” Donlon said. “I have seen my mom take control before and my sister take charge in the field. If you don’t step up, it’s kind of a bystander thing and in my family, they have always been the ones to step up and try to give care, so I felt it was natural for me to do so. … I can’t lie – I was nervous at first being on a plane with limited supplies, but once I realized I was the most qualified person on the plane and someone had to be the confident one, then I could take to the role pretty easily.”

After her initial treatment, Courtney went a step further, personally convincing the plane’s pilots to find the nearest place to land and get the woman to a hospital. Eventually, they were able to touch down in South Carolina, where Courtney transferred her patient (and a full medical report) to the waiting medics. The woman arrived safely at a nearby hospital, and Courtney was able to finish her journey home.

It may not have been the way Courtney expected to end her vacation, but it’s one that neither she nor her emergency patient will ever forget.

If you’re interested in beginning your own career as a nurse, Unitek College has several programs that can help get you on your way. Contact us here for more information.

An ambulance rushes to the scene

Alabama Nurse Changes Woman’s Life… Twice

It was a moment that could have ended in tragedy but instead ended with a woman’s life changed for the better, all thanks to one Alabama nurse.

Twenty years ago, Erika Samuels (then an associate at her local Best Buy) was in a serious crash after a drunk driver slammed into her car. The night could have very easily been her last were it not for the help and determination of a young nurse, Philip Streit.

“I almost lost my life that night,” recalls Samuels. “And to have someone who cared about me when my parents weren’t there, he gave me more than nursing care. He actually gave me life…. I just remember all this glass, in my face, in my eyes, in my hair, and I was in so much pain. And Philip was there for me the whole time and never left my side. Even when my parents came, he was holding my hand.”

Saving her wasn’t the only way Streit changes Samuels’ life. After the accident and initial hospital stay, it took Samuels three years of physical therapy to get completely back on her feet. But despite the pain and hard recovery, that potentially tragic night had given Samuels a new purpose in life. So grateful was she for the actions of her nurse after her accident, she decided to become a nurse herself and continue the cycle of caring.

“What he did for me actually changed my life,” Erika says. “That’s why I have a passion for nursing, because of people like him.”

Their story could have ended here, with Streit unaware of just how much his help had impacted Samuels, were it not for a chance encounter just a few weeks ago. Twenty years after her accident, Samuels (now a nursing student, graduating this May) was featured in a video presentation during a hospital ribbon cutting in Mobile, Alabama. And it just so happened that Philip Streit (now a nurse administrator) was in the crowd that day.

The moment he saw her name on screen, Philip knew that he was seeing “his Erika” from two decades past. After the ribbon cutting, he quickly tracked her down and asked whether she had ever been in a car accident. The result was a tear-filled, joyful reunion between the two nurses, one that was captured on camera and shared online more than 33,000 times. The story was even noticed by NBC News and covered by Lester Holt himself.

You can see the full NBC story here.

So here’s to Philip and Erika, two people who turned tragedy into something amazing, and whose lives have been dedicated to good ever since.

If you’d like more information on become a nurse or medical assistant, Unitek College can help! Contact us here to take your first step towards your medical career.